Animal Abuse Animal cruelty

More On Puppy Shoots and Dog Fights

Now that I have your attention, here is more information on what you can do to stop live animal shoots.  These live pigeon shoots involve gambling, just like dog fights.

Pennsylvania’s Pigeon Shoots                           

Pennsylvania is the last state to openly host pigeon shoots, cruel events where shooters aim at dazed pigeons launched randomly from boxes with the goal of downing the birds within a ring for prizes. Similar to animal fighting events in their underground nature, contestants gamble on who can shoot the most animals.

Held at private gun clubs, a look at the parking lots during a shoot reveals a mix of local vehicles and luxury cars from as far away as New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.   And just like the participants, the birds are trafficked in from out of state with many coming from illegal bird captures in New York City.  In fact, just about the only thing about the shoots that comes from Pennsylvania is the legislature’s unwillingness to address this brutality.

“Cheap Skeet”

In 1921, live pigeon shoots were banned in Great Britain, and with the growth of the humane movement in the U.S., they were outlawed in a growing number of states. Today, Pennsylvania is the only state to openly harbor them.

After each round of shots at the birds, participants—sometimes children—take to the field to collect wounded and dead animals. If the suffering pigeon is still alive, the collector will sometimes snap the animal’s head off or slam her against the ground before tossing the animal into a barrel full of dead and dying pigeons. Often, wounded birds make it outside the ring to the surrounding area and suffer for days before succumbing to their injuries.

The birds are stockpiled months before the shoots in cramped cages, and the pigeons arrive at the events malnourished, dehydrated and disoriented. As many as 5,000 birds become living targets during a three-day shoot, with 70 percent of the birds wounded rather than killed outright and left to suffer before dying.

What You Can Do

HB 1411 and SB 843 have been introduced to finally address the use of live animals in target shoots.  If you live in Pennsylvania, call your legislators and tell them that pigeon shoots are an embarrassment to Pennsylvania and it’s time to join the rest of the states in shutting them down.

To find out your state legislators, please visit:  If you’re interested in sitting down with your legislators to discuss his or her support for this bill, please contact Heidi Prescott, HSUS senior vice president who works on our pigeon shoot campaign, at or 301 721 6415.  We’re always interested in feedback from legislators on this issue, so please contact Heidi at any time.

(posted with permission from the Humane Society)

Correction from previous posting:  HB 1411 is still in committee and Legislator Tom Caltigirone supports ending pigeon shoots.  He is holding up placing the bill up for votes because he thinks that there aren’t enough votes for passage.  This is why it is important to contact your State Legislator.

There are three pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.  One at Wing Point in Hamburg, one at the Pike Sportsman’s Club in Pike Township and one that was reborn at the Philadelphia Gun Club in Bucks County.  Take notice that two of these slob hunter gambling events take place in Berks County.  Shame, shame, shame.

The PA Victory Flyers Fund, a PAC that supports and encourages live pigeon shoots, contributed $1000.00 to Berks County District Attorney John Adams campaign.  Is this why John Adams is ordering the Humane Society Officer to drop charges of animal cruelty against the Pike Sportsman’s Club?

If I contributed $2000.00 to John Adams campaign, would he then prosecute the Pike Sportsman’s Club for animal cruelty?  Just asking.

5 replies on “More On Puppy Shoots and Dog Fights”

FYI, there’s a lot of country outside of Pennsylvania. And in case you missed it in school, Children, there’s a fair sized place just south of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It’s called Latin America, and extends almost to Antarctica. Celebrate Cultural Diversity, and remember; live pigeon shoots will continue.
But, if it makes you feel your life has some — meaning — go ahead with your protests, etc. But trying to convince a New Yorker that “Subway And Sewer Rats Have Rights” might be a better —“cause”. There are a lot more rats than pigeons.

Oh! And don’t forget the Cockroaches, too! Sensitive little things, they are.

Bob – I have plenty of meaning in my life. Add some real meaning to your life and drive by a live pigeon shoot sometime. It’s not a pretty sight. But then again, you might be interested in the gambling. It’s like dog fighting. If you like dog fighting then you will love live pigeon shoots.

Bob, the arguement that “everyone else is doing it” didn’t work so well in high school, and certainly doesn’t apply here. PA is the LAST state to hold these openly, and it’s time for that to end.

Seriously though – the arguement that one shouldn’t stand up for an issue because Latin America will still shoot pigeons – are you saying then, that it’s ok to do anything if Latin America is doing it?

Jeez, you must have been an easy push over in school!

There is no sportsmanship in lauching animals out of traps and shooting them from 30 yards away. Most hunters I know are embarassed by activities like this. There is a reason that the shooters don’t publish the schedule outside of the members and don’t want attention brought to the gamblling that take place at the shoots, not to mention the illegal trafficking and sale of the birds. Thank you for bringing attention to this. I hope that the legislators in Berks County will take a leadership role in ridding not only our county, but also our state of this embarassment.

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